HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

20 May 2012

Deerhunter - 'Halcyon Digest' (4AD)

A disturbing, matte cover. White vinyl. Many typefaces. Sadness lingers, sticky from the residue of Microcastle just a few hours earlier. When it bounces, it bounces, but I keep going back to brittle suburban concrete, the sounds of parking lots strewn with tire streaks. Darkness always doesn't make much sense, or is it since? So many typefaces in conflict, but that's the errant afterthought of language which flows through this and so many other Cox-penned platters; words blow across this parking lot, carefully chosen as they are, and different bits stick. Bright lights, dim glows; it's not a contradiction. Memory is everywhere - it seeps through the cracks in the guitar arpeggios, dripping down like oil over every surface. Explicitly called in titles and lyrics, but that's always been there. Let's leave the death trip behind for the real pain is in living. Or something likethat. And yet this is done with so many major key uplifts, the delicate taste of building soundramps, a band coming together to create a vision with less reliance on the wet, processed soups and a strange drive towards, well, accessibility. It's not just a teenage nostalgia at play here; it's movies, shot on super-8, of dusty rooms slightly out of focus, with no people to be seen. There's an absence of affect at times, despite the strains of emotion in the voice ('Basement Scene')!  And when it's pointed - 'He Would Have Laughed', dedicated to Jay Reatard who after all covered 'Fluorescent Grey' so brilliantly - the loss is just all the more bigger, cast over with a withdrawn pallor. Halcyon it is, the next great step forward. The 'other guy' wrote two songs here, and my god are they great - 'Fountain Stairs' rings out like complex bubblegum, magic and delicate. It's Deerhunter at their best, and perhaps their masterpiece they'll never top. But I wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment